Top 10 Report

HfS Blueprint Report: Procurement As-a-Service 2017

November 30, 2017

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The 2017 HfS Research Blueprint Report for Procurement As-a-Service provides a unique overview of the rapidly changing market for procurement outsourcing services. This Blueprint places as much emphasis on innovation as on execution across the Procurement As-a-Service Value Chain: Category Management, Strategic Sourcing, Supplier Management, Transactional Procurement, Technology Management and Contract Management.



  • Focus, acquisitions, partnerships, and innovation. Since the 2016 Blueprint, we have seen a number of interesting developments. WNS and Denali, long time partners, became one organization. Wipro announced a strategic partnership with Tradeshift as well as an investment by Wipro Ventures. Capgemini sold its procurement platform IBX to Tradeshift. IBM and SAP Ariba announced a major strategic partnership that will see IBM adopting SAP Ariba as its procurement platform that underpins its BPaaS service delivery.
  • Still fixing the basics. While the conversations among procurement professionals often focus on “the future of procurement” and all the innovative technologies that have started to shape the direction of procurement and many transformation journeys, the reality is that lots of procurement organizations are still struggling with transactional procurement processes, getting invoices processed with intelligent character recognition (ICR) and optical character recognition (OCR), and matching invoices and purchase orders correctly in one go. They simply don’t have the time or bandwidth to focus on “the future.” Providers with strong transactional procurement outsourcing capabilities can help these organizations tremendously.
  • Leading providers manage over $530 Billion of spend. The amount of spend under management by the providers covered by this report is more than $530 billion.
  • Top 10 Categories in terms of spend under management
  • Procurement As-a-Service providers employ over 5,000 category experts. Through category management services, enterprises have access to over 5,000 experts in 16 categories ranging from travel, office supplies, and logistics to IT, professional services, and raw materials.
  • Top 10 categories by number of category experts.
  • Cognitive procurement hitting adolescence. Many buyers see cognitive procurement as the next frontier but don’t have a clear understanding of, or plan for, how to make it work for their organizations. The gap between cognitive procurement and the (perceived) level of maturity and change readiness of procurement is a though hurdle to take, for service providers and buyers alike.
  • Amazonification’ of procurement – the move to simple, seamless, digital buying experiences. Amazon is relevant to procurement in a number of ways. It has created a de facto standard for purchasing experiences: simple, easy, and accommodating to the user. “Why should buying at work be so different than buying as a consumer?” many people wonder. Procurement functions and service providers are challenged to follow suit and harness the power of digital procurement experience, changed buying behavior and consumer expectations.
  • This report hightlights examples of the ‘Amazonification’ of procurement
  • Blockchain. Blockchain is game changing technology for procurement and has potential to become the fabric of global business to business transactions. The implications of blockchain to procurement, supply chain, and supplier management are highly significant.
  • This report includes examples of use cases that are currently explored.


Chief Procurement Officers and procurement professionals with an interest and/or responsibility for procurement outsourcing and new Procurement As-a-Service offerings. As well as executive leaders and business unit leaders, technology leaders, advisors and outsourcing managers in all industry sectors.



Accenture, Aegis, Capgemini, DXC, Genpact, GEP, HCL, IBM, Infosys, Proxima, TCS, Wipro, WNS-Denali



Readers will gain insight into the capability, vision and investment priorities of the service providers included in the Blueprint report. We also outline the strengths and challenges to take into consideration for these service providers. We also provide a top-level trends analysis of the growth and evolution of pricing models in the Procurement Outsourcing market, where most of the current business is concentrated and which areas we expect to see the most growth in over the next few years. In addition, there are recommendations sections for buyer enterprises as well as the service providers.

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